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ASM Handbook

Materials for Medical Devices

Edited by
Roger J. Narayan
Roger J. Narayan
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Biotribology and Implant Wear



This article addresses the biologic aspects of implant debris both locally and systemically. It discusses the particulate debris, such as stainless steel, cobalt alloy, and titanium alloy, and soluble debris obtained due to wear from all orthopedic implants. Implant debris is known to cause local inflammation, local osteolysis, and, in some cases, local and systemic hypersensitivity. The article describes debris-induced local effects, particle-induced proinflammatory responses, and debris-induced systemic effects. It concludes with a discussion on the four systemic effects of implant debris, namely, neuoropathic effects, hypersensitivity effects, carcinogenictiy, and general toxicity.


This article provides an overview of the fundamentals of tribology. It describes the advantages, disadvantages, and applications of pin-on-disk method, which is the most commonly used configuration for testing biomaterials and for the reproducible measurement of friction and wear. The article illustrates practical tribocorrosion setup that allows the user to perform wear tests in corrosive environments under well-defined electrochemical conditions and at controlled temperature. It describes the effect of changes in electrical contact resistance on tribological mode. The article discusses various in vivo environmental conditions in tribological tests. Some typical examples of biomaterials testing are also provided.

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2012. "Biotribology and Implant Wear", Materials for Medical Devices, Roger J. Narayan

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